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An Industrial Experience

A few weeks ago, I started itching to get another piercing. I have my nostril pierced and 3 lobe piercings. I knew I didn't want another facial piercing and the ear seemed like the way to go, since there's so much variety in piercings to choose. After careful consideration, I chose an industrial. A friend of mine in high school had had one. It was noticeable enough to be unique, but not too out there. So began my researching period. I looked up everything that was involved in the process, aftercare, potential problems, etc.

When I felt like I had enough information, I researched my local piercing parlors for a price range. It seemed that most places in my area charged about $45-$60 for industrials. I set the date and asked my friend April to accompany me. We parked and walked up to the place (South Side Tattoo). As we walked in the door, I realized I had forgotton my I.D.! I know, this wasn't my first time around the piercing block, I should've known better! So the plans for that day were dashed.

When I returned to my dorm that night, I went on Youtube and watched as many industrial piercing procedures as I could, just to get an idea. The next day, I called another piercing parlor (Hot Rod Piercing) that was much closer to my dorm (It's actually on campus!) and asked their price. It was $75 there. As a poor college student, $30 goes a long way. I did more research on the shop and found that Hot Rod is the only parlor in the area that has APP piercers, which is obviously a plus. Hot Rod had many, many good reviews online. They specialize in piercing, so you're not going to a tattoo shop and being pierced in a back room by someone who is mainly a tattoo artist who dabbles in piercing. All they do is pierce at Hot Rod, so they are very experienced and committed to doing good piercings. But I was still hesitant about the $30. I called my mom and she immediately disapproved of the industrial. "You're getting to the point with these piercings that it's unattractive." Oh boy . I guess she doesn't get out much.

Finally, I decided to pay the extra $30. I figured it would be a more comfortable atmosphere and I'd rather pay more knowing they're doing a good job. This time my friend Amanda joined me. We walked in and were the only customers there, which made me a little nervous for some reason. I told the guy at the counter (Jerry) what I wanted and he went through all the aftercare with me and answered all of my questions, such as whether two CBR's were used instead of the bar for the healing period, to which he replied no. I was very happy, I wanted the bar, not two CBR's. He had a special sheet of paper with both sides detailing aftercare procedure and things to avoid. He highlighted the important parts, which I thought was very thoughtful.

Tim (my piercer) came out some time after. I told him I was nervous and he told me not to worry, he had decades of experience, which made me feel better. We all (Amanda, Jerry, Tim, and I) went to one of the rooms and we talked more about exactly what would happen. They answered questions I didn't even know I had! Trust me, it was very evident that they knew their piercings! For instance, I came in knowing I wanted my left ear pierced. He noted that I had less cartiledge on my left side and the right side would take the piercing better. After much discussion about it, I decided to go with the right side. Also, he suggested a smaller ball size for the ends of the bar because I wear glasses and smaller balls would be less likely to bump my glasses. He impressed me so much with his thoughtfulness. I even got to dictate the pacing of the piercing (if I wanted to take a few minutes between the first and second holes or if he should just go on the next breath). He measured my ear a bout 3 times just to be sure he'd have the right sized bar.

It came time to pierce after we all just shot the breeze for a little while longer. I told him about the Youtube videos and he said the only things they were good for was usually to see the wrong way to pierce. He said most of the people on there are mediocre at best piercers. I held Amanda's hand and he went through the first hole. It hurt, but not too bad. On a scale of 1-10, it was probably a 4 or 5. I took a breath in and on the exhale he pierced the second hole. That one hurt a little more, maybe 6 or 7. Still, it wasn't terrible. He put the jewelry in very efficiently and I barely felt it. I didn't scream at all through the process but I did make a face on the second hole. We stayed and talked for a bit later, then Amanda and I left.

Overall, it stung a little in the days following. The most painful thing was having strands of hair get stuck around the top ball. I bought some Dial soap and sea salt. It's not difficult to clean, but my hair does get in the way sometimes. I'm very happy with the look of the piercing. It's a pain to not be able to sleep on my right side for a few weeks, but that's not a life-changing sacrifice. I've seen a few people around campus with industrials, but I think it's just unique enough.

The experience wasn't too painful or anything. If you're in the Pittsburgh area, I highly recommend Hot Rod Piercing. They really care about you and your piercing. I'm only at week 2 with my industrial and while it can get in the way (you never realize how much things come into contact with your ear cartiledge til you have a piercing!), I love it.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 19 Oct. 2009
in Ear Piercing

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Artist: Tim
Studio: Hot+Rod+Piercing
Location: Oakland%2C+PA

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